Sunday, July 3, 2011

Breaking News Update: 7-3-2011 Casey Anthony Trial Live. CLOSING ARGUMENTS.

UPDATE 7-3-2011

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Casey Anthony trial update: Defense attorney Jose Baez begins closing argument

CBS/WKMG/AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - Lead defense attorney Jose Baez began his closing arguments in the Casey Anthony murder trial at 11:15 a.m. Sunday morning telling the jurors that there are many unanswered questions in the case against his client.

"How did Caylee Anthony die?" Baez said, reports CBS affiliate WKMG. .
Sunday morning, Baez emphasized that it is the state that has the burden of proof, not the defense, and as a result they are afforded to have the opportunity to have the last word in the trial. The state's closing arguments lasted just an hour, but they will have an opportunity to speak again.
Baez said the defense has no requirement to even present a case, because the burden is on the state.
He explained that his biggest fear with the case is that it will be decided based on emotion.
"I know there were times where every single person in here felt something deep down inside," Baez said, according to the station. "This case must not be decided for or against anyone because you feel sorry for anyone, or angry at anyone. That's because we want you to base your verdict on the evidence, not emotion."
Baez accused the prosecution of playing to the juror's emotions.
"They gave you two weeks of testimony that was completely irrelevant -- to paint Casey Anthony as a slut, as a party girl, as a girl who lies," Baez said.
Baez then went to tell the jury they were the first to in the state to ever hear about air tests and hair banding evidence indicating a body had been in Casey Anthony's trunk.
"I told you the very first day that this was an accident that snowballed out of control," Baez said, reports the station.
In the defense's opening statements, Baez said Caylee Anthony drowned in the Anthony family pool. Baez also claimed that Casey Anthony was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, and those years of abuse contributed to Casey Anthony failing to report that Caylee had drowned on June 16, 2008.
Baez said there is no doubt that Casey Anthony made mistakes. He said she should have called police, but the state does not have the right to over charge, or inflate a case for the sake of entertainment.
Baez then attacked Casey Anthony's father, George Anthony, for reporting gas cans missing to police. Baez said George Anthony knew the gas cans, and the brand of duct tape found on them, which was also found on Caylee's skull, would be important in the case. Casey Anthony took the cans to fill up her car in late June 2008.
Baez accused George Anthony of distancing himself from the case by not reporting anything when he retrieved Casey Anthony's car and noticed the "death smell." Cindy Anthony called 911 later that day and reported Caylee missing, saying "It smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car."
The state has said that Casey Anthony kept Caylee's body in the trunk of her car for a couple days before dumping Caylee's body in a swamp, but Baez said Casey Anthony's boyfriend at the time, Tony Lazzaro, did not smell anything when he helped Casey Anthony fill up her car in late June 2008, after Caylee had disappeared. Casey Anthony's friend Maria Kisch also testified that she did not smell anything odd in Casey Anthony's car.
Baez laid out photos of the people who said they smelled human decomposition in Casey Anthony's car, then a much longer list of people who did not smell anything in Casey Anthony's car. Baez said that creates reasonable doubt.
The Anthony's neighbor, Brian Berner, testified that Casey Anthony borrowed his shovel and returned it 45 minutes later. FBI experts testified that there was no evidence related to the case on the shovel.
"The state wants you to believe that Casey Anthony, in broad daylight, was going to borrow a neighbor's shovel, even though they had four or five shovels, and bury her child in the backyard. Is that reasonable? How does that even pass muster at all," Baez said, reports the station.
Baez then moved on to garbage found in the trunk of Anthony's car. He said it was intentionally destroyed by being dried out and altered.
Before getting into the computer evidence, Baez asked that they take a break for lunch at noon.
Before Baez, prosecutor Jeff Ashton presented his closing arguments which lasted just over an hour.
In the prosecution's closing argument Ashton explained that "The evidence in this case proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony decided on June 16 that something had to be sacrificed, that the conflict between the life that she wanted and the life that was thrust upon her was simply irreconcilable and something had to give. She chose to sacrifice her child to live the life that she wanted."
Anthony, 25, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Caylee's death and could get the death penalty if convicted of that charge.

Cindy Anthony Got Mad And Put Her Arms Around Casey's Neck...

Casey Anthony Trial: Prosecution Says She Sacrificed Caylee for the Good Life

The prosecution in the Casey Anthony murder trial concluded their closing arguments today by claiming that Casey Anthony sacrificed her daughter, Caylee, to live a life free of the restraints of young motherhood.
"Casey Anthony decided on June 16 [2008] that something had to be sacrificed, that the conflict between the life that she wanted and the life that was thrust upon her was simply irreconcilable and something had to give," Prosecutor Jeff Ashton said.
"She took her child, she took her life and she put her in the trunk and forgot about her. After a couple of days, she couldn't forget anymore and she disposed of her body in a swamp," Ashton said.
"She is guilty of murder in the first degree, and that murder was premeditated," Ashton said, elements that would qualify Casey Anthony for the death penalty.
Ashton started his presentation with a video of a giggling Caylee playing with her mother. He then detailed the 25-year-old Florida woman's elaborate lies about working at Universal Studios and having fictional friends and lovers.
When Caylee first disappeared in June 2008, she lied that a fictional nanny was taking care of her. Eventually, Casey Anthony claimed that the nanny had kidnapped Caylee. The prosecution argued that Anthony chose to murder her daughter, Caylee, when she became old enough to talk and might reveal her mother's lies.
"The only way Casey's lies work is if Caylee isn't talking. Caylee is two and a half, almost 3. She's starting to become verbal. She's starting talk. Caylee is not going to cooperate," Ashton said.
Ashton did not show graphic photos of Caylee's skull, but showed pictures of the things found with Caylee's remains when they were discovered on Dec. 11, 2008 in a wooded and swampy area near the Anthony family home.
Caylee's remains were found in a canvas bag with a Winnie the Pooh blanket, a Gatorade bottle with a syringe, black plastic trash bags, remnants of plaid shorts, the lettering of a shirt that once read "Big Trouble Comes Small," and duct tape. The prosecution argued that the three pieces of duct tape found on Caylee's skull were the murder weapon.

"There is no good reason to put duct tape over the face of a child," Ashton said. "You need three [pieces of duct tape] because your purpose is not to simply silence the child, your purpose is to make sure the child cannot breathe."
Ashton argued that Anthony also used chloroform to kill her daughter.
"We can only hope that the chloroform was used before the tape was applied so that Caylee went peacefully without feeling, but go she did and she died because she could not breathe. She died because she had three pieces of duct tape over her nose and mouth, and she died because her mother decided that the life she wanted was more important," Ashton said.
The prosecution rejected the defense's theory that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that her body was found by her grandfather George Anthony who then helped dispose of the body. Ashton cited a suicide note George Anthony wrote in a failed attempt to kill himself in January 2009, weeks after Caylee's remains had been found.

UPDATE: 7-2-2011

Casey Anthony trial: As it draws to a close, deep mysteries remain

In the Casey Anthony murder trial, there's been no confession, no eye witnesses, and no direct physical evidence capable of telling the tale with scientific certainty. Closing arguments begin Sunday.

Nearly 100 individuals testified and more than 400 pieces of evidence were presented to the jury in a month-long trial. But it is still unclear precisely how the toddler died.
There’s been no confession, no eye witnesses have come forward, and investigators have found no direct physical evidence capable of telling the tale with scientific certainty.

Nonetheless, on Sunday morning in the Orlandocourtroom of Chief Judge Belvin Perry, prosecutors will attempt to sidestep that glaring hole in their case while urging a jury of five men and seven women to find Casey Anthony guilty of the premeditated murder of her daughter.
If convicted, she faces a possible sentence of death by lethal injection.

Casey Anthony Trial Closing Arguments Might Extend to July 4

By Ariel R. Rey | Christian Post Contributor

Closing arguments for the Casey Anthony trial are set to begin Sunday, July 3 at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Rules for the closing arguments were issued on Friday by Judge Belvin Perry. He added that if necessary, he will continue to hold court hearings on July 4th and beyond. Sunday's closing argument hearing is expected to last all day.
Among Perry’s rules is the warning to attorneys to not ridicule or disrespect the other side. He also cautioned them to "avoid making arguments not based on facts in evidence or reasonable inferences."
Tim Jansen, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer in Tallahassee, Tenn., said, "This is an emotional case and I think they made some promises early in the opening and they have not been able to deliver,” according to The Associated Press.
He added, "[The jury is] going to be very skeptical in their closing arguments. When I do my closing arguments, I can tell you right away if they are listening to me, if they are agreeing with me or if they turn the other way and it's not a good feeling to lose a jury."
The case for 25-year-old Casey Anthony, charged with first degree murder of her daughter Caylee Anthony, has lasted more than 33 days since its opening statement in May, and more than 400 pieces of evidence were brought to the court.

RE-UPDATE:  Casey Anthony Trial 07-01-2011

Krystal Holloway, River Cruz – George Anthony Alleged Mistress Testimony Anticipated

Posted on June 29th, 2011 in Cecilia HollowayGeorge AnthonyKrystal Holloway,River CruzSkye Benhaida by lalate
Krystal Holloway, River Cruz - George Anthony Alleged Mistress Testifies

CORAL GABLES (LALATE) – The Krystal Holloway George Anthony alleged mistress drama will soon be before the jury. Krystal Holloway aka River Cruz (photos below) claims she was George Anthony’s mistress, that they had an affair after Caylee Anthony’s disappearance. While the Krystal Holloway testimony might seem salacious because of the allegations of George cheating on Cindy Anthony while looking for his granddaughter, the testimony is far more relevant for other issues. Did George Anthony know how Caylee Anthony died, and did George Anthony get physically abusive with his daughter? Jurors will find out today; Holloway is in the court house and will testify shortly.

Krystal Holloway has (in the words of Nancy Grace) a “street name” of River Cruz. So too does her sister Cecilia Holloway who goes by the alias of Skye Benhaida. The two women have been linked to allegations of inconsistent testimony and selling stories to tabloids. Prosecutors tell news that they are anxious to cross examine Krystal Holloway. Moreover, George Anthony’sattorney tells news that he couldn’t finish a background check on Krystal

Casey Anthony trial: Her father spoke of 'accident,' alleged mistress says

Testifying before the defense rested in the Casey Anthony trial, George Anthony's alleged mistress says he tearfully described Caylee's death as 'an accident that snowballed out of control.'
By Warren Richey, Staff writer / June 30, 2011
Several weeks before police found the skeletal remains of two-year-old Caylee Anthony, the toddler’s grandfather told his alleged mistress that Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed out of control,” the alleged mistress testified on Thursday.
The testimony came on the 13th and final day of the defense case in the month-long murder trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida mother accused of killing her daughter.
Shortly after that testimony the defense rested after announcing that Ms. Anthony would not take the stand.
The alleged mistress, Krystal Holloway, who volunteered to help search for Caylee, said she andGeorge Anthony – Casey’s father and Caylee’s grandfather – had an intimate relationship in 2008.
She said she was surprised when Mr. Anthony made the statement concerning an accident. At the time, George and his wife, Cindy, were leading a national effort and making media appearances based on an assumption that Caylee had been kidnapped and was still alive.
Ms. Holloway said George Anthony’s comment was made during a quiet conversation at her home around Thanksgiving 2008. “We were talking about his daughter and I mentioned that I didn’t think he could raise somebody that was capable of harming her child,” Ms. Holloway told the jury. “That’s when he said it was an accident that snowballed out of control.”
She said the comment shocked her. “I was caught off guard by it, and when I looked up he had tears in his eyes,” she said.
In an effort to verify the relationship, Defense Attorney Jose Baez introduced as evidence a copy of a text message apparently sent by George Anthony to Holloway. It said: “Just thinking about you. I need you in my life.”

The Final Act of the Casey Anthony Circus

By Geraldo Rivera
Published July 01, 2011
| Fox News Latino
The power of the Casey Anthony drama is self-evident in the gaggle of passengers gathered around this airport's television monitors. Like millions of Americans, they are following every twist and turn as this painful but compelling case careens to its dramatic conclusion.

As I walk through sprawling Newark Airport en route back to Orlando for Friday's closing arguments and hopefully a fair verdict, it is clear that people are emotionally invested in the outcome of this trial of the new century.           

"Should Casey, the accused mom, have testified?" people ask. Was George-the-grandfather's mistress at all believable when she said grandpa allegedly told her this tragedy was "an accident that spiraled out of control?"
Is there reasonable doubt that Casey acted alone?
And people wonder, Isn't this family:
A) creepy
B) dysfunctional
C) capable of sex abuse, cover-up and obstruction? 

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After the defense rested on Thursday, the state began its case immediately and started calling witnesses.
Prosecutors had plans to continue their rebuttal case Friday, including a strategy to go over Cindy Anthony's testimony and her claims that she was the one conducting searches for Chloroform.
Cindy says she did those searches at home, even though she was logged onto her computer at work. So, the question remains -- was she home looking for information on Chloroform or was she working? 
Cindy says she was salaried and had left early that day because of her wedding anniversary and Casey's birthday.
The state maintains it was Casey who was looking for Chloroform and that she used it to disable her daughter so she could go out and party.
On Thursday, the judge said the time card information on Cindy's computer can be introduced as evidence by the state to rebut the defense's case.

Casey Anthony Murder Trial Set to Resume After 'Indefinite' Recess

Published July 01, 2011

The Casey Anthony murder trial is set to resume after the judge called a recess earlier Friday just as prosecutors prepared to rebut testimony by Anthony's mother who claimed she -- not her daughter -- made suspicious Internet searches in the months before her 2-year-old granddaughter disappeared. 

The prosecution had planned to use its rebuttal case Friday to attack Cindy Anthony's testimony that searches made on the family's home computer for "chloroform" were made by her. 

But Judge Belvin Perry called a recess "indefinitely" on Friday to give defense attorneys time to question state rebuttal witnesses.   

Perry, however, called on attorneys from both sides to act quickly in working out procedural issues, saying jurors being sequestered are "ready to return to their homes." 

"Remember you have jurors back there and they are being sequestered," Perry said. "I hope this is a real problem and not imaginary." 

Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee, in the summer of 2008. Evidence of chloroform was found in the trunk of the 25-year-old's car. Only the state's rebuttal case and closing arguments remain in the trial.

Cindy Anthony had testified that she conducted Internet searches in March 2008 for "chlorophyll" and later "chloroform" because she was concerned about pet dogs that appeared fatigued -- despite records showing she was at work at the time of those searches, according to prosecutors. 

"She was having some issues and was extremely tired all the time," Cindy Anthony had testified about one of the dogs. "And both of the dogs would eat the bamboo leaves out in the back. So I started up looking up sources from the back yard that could potentially cause her to be more sleepy then it would affect the larger dog."

Perry has ruled that electronic time card information from Cindy Anthony's employer can be introduced by the state to rebut testimony she made earlier.

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George Anthony Testimony...

The testimony could be portrayed in two ways: Either George Anthony had experience wrapping his beloved pets in trash bags and duct tape before burying them, or that Casey Anthony learned this behavior as a child and later executed the same methods on her own daughter, Caylee. Casey Anthony faces seven counts related to the June 2008 death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee.  Her remains were located on December 11, 2008 just blocks from the Anthony home, wrapped in similar fashion to the Anthony’s family pets as described during testimony.

Continue reading on George Anthony testifies about burying dog, Mandy, in the backyard (video) - Tampa Bay Crime |

Casey Anthony Trial Update: George Anthony Says Casey Lived on Edge; Explains His Suicide Attempt
During his testimony he revealed that when he and his wife picked up Casey’s car from the tow yard it smelled like human decomposition, without a doubt. He also stated that because Caylee was last seen with Casey, one and one added up to two in his mind.
He confirmed as well that his daughter frequently lied and lived on the edge.
The defense, however, also pointed out George’s suicide attempt in 2009, trying to show that he felt guilty. But the witness said that he just wanted to be with his granddaughter Caylee and not in the world anymore. He also denied ever molesting his daughter sexually, expressing that he would never harm his daughter in that way.
When questioned about his media appearances for which he gained a large amount of money, including $20,000 for his appearance on 48 hours, George justified it by saying it was meant “to bring awareness to what [his] granddaughter meant to [them].”
Casey’s father said during cross-examination that he had hope that Caylee was alive throughout the time she was missing and until the day she was found.
Prosecutor Jeff Ashton asked George about his suicide note, which took him hours to write. Baez argued that the witness wrote the note to appear innocent. With the jury out of the courtroom, however, it was revealed that George’s letter stated that he bought a gun in order to ask his daughter’s friends for answers and then kill himself afterwards.
But Judge Belvin Perry did not allow the letter into evidence as of yet, and stated he needed to read more cases before knowing whether or not he should admit it. Ashton could, however, question the witness about his suicide attempt.
When the jury was back, George explained why he purchased a gun and how the police confiscated it because there could be no firearms at the home while Casey was out on bond.
He also clarified that he wrote the 8-page suicide letter to his wife because he could not tell her face-to-face that he did not want to be in the world anymore. If it was not for the intervention of the police, he would be dead by now, he stated.
Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, also took the stand earlier on Wednesday, saying that she thought there was a chance Caylee could still be alive even after the remains were found and cremated.
She was asked about the comment she made about her husband blowing up at the media for Caylee’s drowning theories, which was revealed in a jailhouse tape that included a conversation between her, Casey, and George. Cindy said that the accidental drowning was the media’s theory and not her family’s.
The witness also confirmed during the cross-examination that in the tape when Casey had responded “surprise surprise” after her own comment, it was in reference to the media’s assumption about the drowning and not her father’s blowing up.
The defense is seeking to show the Anthony family as dysfunctional in their strategy to prove Casey’s innocence...
Prosecutor Jeff Ashton revealed the George Anthony suicide note to jurors
Some excerpts: (It is addressed to Cynthia and these excerpts are not in order)
•"Caylee, here I come."
•"My loss of life is meaningless."
•"I have never been the man any of you can count on."
"I know you love me and I still question all these years, how can she love me, put up with me? Well I guess you took the vows of marriage and meant it."
•"I love you Cynthia Marie. I really do. That is why I must join Caylee Marie now,"
•"I cannot be strong anymore. Caylee Marie our granddaughter, i miss her. I miss her so much. I know you do too."
•"I blame myself for her being done."
•He says "Casey does not deserve to be where she is."
•"her personal safety is always on my mind,"
•"I love you Cynthia Marie. You are the best. You always have been. Caylee here I come."
"It is my hope that on Saturday afternoon that you will hear the final summation by the state of Florida and the defense," Perry said.

Casey Anthony: Was Caylee like a pet? Calling Stephen King

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Casey Anthony in court Thursday. Photo credit: Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel
The Casey Anthony case has been a big story in this community for nearly three years, and the Anthony family has been a major reason.
We’ve followed the Anthonys outside their home confronting protesters, at the memorial service remembering Caylee, at the depositions clashing with lawyers, during national TV interviews turning emotional and on the witness stand weeping. Many people study the Anthonys and wonder about that family’s life: What is going on there?
It has been strange. It got stranger Thursday — Stephen King strange.
The defense team for Casey Anthony, who is charged with first-degree murder in daughter Caylee’s death, focused on the many Anthony pets that had died through the years. George and Cindy Anthony, Casey’s parents, testified about the pets. So did Lee Anthony, Casey’s brother. That litany of pet deaths didn’t seem to help Casey’s defense, but rather provide another off-kilter view of the clan and its rituals.
HLN’s Nancy Grace last night said that Caylee’s body had been “disposed of in the same manner as a family pet at a makeshift pet cemetery.”
Dr. Bethany Marshall, a psychoanalyst, told Grace that Casey “viewed her daughter like a pet.”
Marshall cited a video of Casey bouncing Caylee on her knee. “Her little girl is no more than a pet,” Marshall said. “But like a pet, when the pet gets in trouble, you hit it with a newspaper on the nose, you send it outside. You really don’t feel that the pet has a place in the family anymore. And mothers who commit homicide have these kinds of relationships with their children.”
The child pleases a mother when the child gives unconditional love like a dog, Marshall said. “When the child displeases the mother, the mother feels persecuted and tortured by the presence of the child and dispatches with the child,” she added.
This perverse angle is likely to add to the fascination with the Anthony case. Did this story need a dash of Norman Bates?
What do you think?

Man jailed for six days for middle finger gestures at Casey Anthony trial

Last updated at 12:43 PM on 1st July 2011
A court spectator at the trial of Casey Anthony has been jailed for six days after sticking his middle finger up at the prosecutor.
Judge Belvin Perry pulled Matthew Bartlett up in front of the court and gave him a humiliating dressing down before sentencing him for contempt.
Bartlett, a 28-year-old TGI Fridays waiter from Orlando, was also fined $400 for the obscene gesture, which the judge said risked prejudicing the trial.
Obscene: Matthew Bartlett, left, made this obscene gesture in the direction of prosecuting attorney Jeff Ashton
Obscene: Matthew Bartlett, left, made this obscene gesture in the direction of prosecuting attorney Jeff Ashton

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